SGA Constitution


The Student Government Association CONSTITUTION
as amended Spring 2018


Preamble
We, the students of Cameron University, in order to form a democratic, efficient and responsible Student Government to represent, lead and unify the student body, to decide and recommend for the students upon any matter involving the student interests, to promote common understanding between students, faculty, and administration, while protecting the individual rights of students, do hereby establish and adopt this Constitution for the Cameron University Student Government Association.

Article I – Name

The name of the organization shall be Student Government Association.

Article II – Purpose

1. To serve as the student government Vehicle.
2. To represent, lead, and unify the student body.
3. To aid the university in its larger purpose of education.
4. To make recommendations to the administration of the University concerning student issues and concerns.
5. To act as a means of preserving and maintain the well-being of the university community.
6. To encourage enthusiastic school support.

Article III – Organization

The Student Government Association shall consist of elected Senators, Representatives designated by recognized student organizations, the Executive Council, and Constitutional Committees.

Section 1- Elected Senators and Organizational Representation

a. Elected Senators

i. There shall be (6) elected senators from each academic school and (6) “At Large” elected senators.

• The (6) senator seats from each school and the at-large category may be composed of any classification as long as no classification exceeds (3) seats in each category.
• In Spring elections, one seat in each category must remain vacant until the Fall elections in which eligible Freshmen can participate. After fall elections, if those seats are not filled by classified freshmen, the runners-up from the previous elections will earn the seat.

ii. At-large senators shall be those students who at the start of the academic year do not have a declared major in either of the academic schools.

iii. Each elected senator must be a full-time student, maintain at least a 2.0 grade point average and be in good standing with the university.

• A graduating senior may apply for an exemption to the Administrative Advisor if they are fulfilling their academic requirements and the coursework is considered less than full-time (12 hours)

iv. In order to run for a senator position, each candidate must meet the grade point average requirement when they file for office and the classification requirement prior to the start of the academic year in which they are to hold the position.

b. Organizational Representation

i. Each university recognized organization is allotted one Representative member to participate in the Student Government Association. Organizations must have all paperwork required to maintain their status as an active organization on file with the Office of Campus Life and maintain good standing with the Office of Campus life.

Section 2 – Elected Officers

a. The elected officers shall consist of the President, Vice President, and Treasurer.
b. Each office shall be elected by a means of campus-wide election held in the spring semester.

• In order to run for an officer position, each candidate must meet the grade point average requirement when they file for office and the classification requirement prior to the start of the academic year in which they are to hold the position.

c. All officers have to be enrolled as a full-time student while being in office.

• A graduating senior may apply for an exemption to the Administrative Advisor if they are fulfilling their academic requirements and the coursework is considered less than full-time (12 hours).

d. Vice President and Treasurer shall be full-time sophomores or above, and have been a member of SGA in good standing for the academic semester prior to their service, and must maintain a 2.5 cumulative grade point average or greater, be in good standing with the University, and maintain said grade point average and standing through their entire term.

e. The President shall be a full-time junior or above and have been a member of SGA in good standing for the academic year prior to their service, and must maintain a 2.75 grade point average or above, must be in good standing with the University and maintain said grade point average and standing through their entire term.

f. Each of the elected officers may only hold one position within the SGA.

g. If the Vice President or Treasurer resigns before the first Tuesday in September of the school year in which he/she is to serve, a campus wide election will take place the second Tuesday and Wednesday of September.

h. If the Vice President or Treasurer resigns after the first Tuesday in September of the school year in which he/she is to serve, the SGA body will be notified at the next regularly scheduled meeting.

i. Upon the early withdrawal of an elected position,

1. An official Letter of Resignation shall be forwarded to the entire SGA, and to the President of the University.
2. A farewell address is to be held during an SGA meeting, explaining why the officer is leaving before the end of term and final thoughts before officially resigning.
3. The voting privileges of the departing officer shall be revoked during this meeting.
4. Privileges may be reinstated if motioned and approved by majority vote.
5. There may also be time for questioning the departing officer if motioned and approved by majority vote.
6. If the President is resigning, the Vice President is to preside over the entire meeting without exception.
7. The full repayment of their awarded stipend.
8. Terms of repayment shall be determined by the current advisor of the organization.

j. Special conditions shall be granted by the Supreme Court. Pending approval, the stipend may be retained
k. Any SGA body member will at that time be given one week to express an interest for the vacant position by signing up or nominating another individual in the Student Government office.
l. Any nominated individual will be notified in time to accept the nomination.
m. After one week, (upon the next regularly scheduled SGA meeting), the candidates will be voted upon by the SGA body

Section 3 – Appointed Officers

a. Appointed officers shall include, but not be limited to, the Secretary, the Parliamentarian, and the Sergeant at Arms.
b. Other positions shall be appointed as deemed necessary by the President, such as public information officer, historian, or conference coordinator.
c. Appointed officers must be full-time students, maintain a 2.00 grade point average or higher, and must be in good standing with the university.
d. All appointed officers, except the secretary, require a majority approval of the SGA body members voting.
e. All appointed officer positions may hold up to one other position in the SGA.

Section 4 – Executive Council

a. The Executive Council shall consist of all elected officers and appointed officers
b. The Executive Council shall act in the absence of the body and shall approve or disapprove all actions by the President with the exception of the bylaws.

Section 5 – Committees

a. There shall be three (3) constitutional committees - Finance Committee, Election Committee, and Legislative Committee.

1. Ad hoc committees may be created at the discretion of the President to address issues or concerns as they arise.
2. Members of committees must receive approval by a majority vote of the SGA members voting.

Section 6 – Advisors

b. The administrative Advisor shall be appointed to the SGA by the Dean of Students. The Administration Advisor shall:

1. Serve as approving authority for SGA operations.
2. Serve as a liaison with University Administration.
3. Forward all actions of SGA through University channels.
4. Supervise all functions of SGA.
5. Attend all SGA meetings.

Article IV – Powers and Duties
Those that hold the positions listed in this section are charged with the task of upholding this constitution, its bylaws, and all other laws and regulations passed under its direction.

Section 1 – The President

a. The President shall:

1. Preside over all meetings.
2. Appoint members of committees with a majority approval of members voting being required for committees
3. Appoint students to all University committees annually and as necessary throughout the academic year.
4. Be the official representative of the SGA at all times when the Body is not available for a decision.
5. Have the ability to call special meetings.
6. Review and recommend all budgets submitted by the Finance Committees.
7. Vote only in the case of a tie.
8. Be responsible for attending meetings under the same rules as the other SGA body members.

Section 2 – Vice President

a. The Vice President shall:

1. Perform the duties of the President, if the President is not available to serve, or the office is vacated.
2. Be a voting member of the SGA.
3. Chair of the Legislative Committee.
4. Maintain a calendar of all SGA meetings, committee meetings and events.
5. Be responsible for attending meetings under the same rules as the other SGA body members.
6. Assume all responsibilities as delegated by the president of the SGA.

Section 3 – Treasurer

a. The Treasurer shall:

1. Keep all financial records of the SGA.
2. Submit in writing to the SGA at the first meeting of each month an
itemized statement of funds spent, funds appropriated, and funds remaining.
3. Cooperate with the appropriate administrators in the achievement of the Treasurer's duties.
4. Be a voting member of the SGA.
5. Chair the Finance Committee and vote only in the case of a tie.
6. Be responsible for attending meetings under the same rules as other SGA body members.

Section 4 – Secretary

a. The Secretary shall:

1. Keep all records of the SGA except those of finances.
2. Receive and send all official correspondence of the SGA.
3. Keep attendance records at all official SGA meetings.
4. Be a nonvoting member of the SGA.
5. Be responsible for attending meeting under the same rules as the other SGA Body members.
6. Be responsible for taking the records to the archive librarian at Cameron University at the end of the spring semester.

Section 5 – Parliamentarian

a. The Parliamentarian shall:

1. Oversee all SGA proceedings in accordance with the parliamentary procedures set forth in the bylaws.

• Be able to verify or enforce parliamentary procedure in the event of an oversight or violation.

2. Assist the President in keeping order.
3. Receive majority approval of the Senate members voting.
4. Be a nonvoting member of the SGA.
5. Be responsible for attending meetings under the same rules as the other SGA Body members.

Section 6 – Sergeant at Arms

a. The Sergeant at Arms shall:

1. Maintain order of the SGA at the discretion of the President.
2. Lead the SGA Body in the Pledge of Allegiance at each meeting.
3. Be given any other tasks which the executive officers deem necessary for maintaining the order of the SGA meetings.
4. Be a non-voting member of the SGA

Section 7 – Senators and Representatives

a. Senators and Representatives shall:

1. Perform duties delegated to them by SGA and keep SGA informed of the opinions of their constituents.
2. Create and write legislation pertinent to issues that concern the student body.
3. Serve as a liaison between their respective schools or organizations and the SGA.
4. Be voting members of the SGA.
5. The SGA body shall hold the Executive Council responsible for actions taken in their absence.

Article V – Meetings

a. The SGA Body shall meet every week at a time and place as specified by President of the SGA (or as specified in the bylaws).
b. Special meetings may be called as deemed necessary by the President or by majority of the members.

1. Previous notice to all members must be attempted.
2. Quorum must be present to conduct official business.

c. All meetings shall be open.
d. A quorum of fifty (50) percent, plus one, of the voting membership must be present to transact business.

Article VI – Legislation

a. All legislation shall originate in the Cameron SGA, receive a ruling from the Legislative Committee, and be passed by the Senate and Representatives of the SGA body.

1. Upon its passage, all legislation must be signed on behalf of the Senate by the presiding officer at the time.
2. The signing of the legislation shall be verified by the acting secretary by signature.

b. Legislation having received the required vote for passage through the Body of SGA shall be submitted to the President of SGA for approval or veto. Failure or refusal on the part of the President to sign a piece of legislation within two weeks of its passage through the body shall constitute a veto.
c. Should the President veto a piece of legislation, the Senate shall have two consecutive meetings in which to consider an override of the veto.

1. The first meeting after the announcement of the veto shall be considered the first consecutive meeting.
2. It shall take a two-thirds vote of the Body to override a veto.

d. Once legislation is approved by the SGA President, or should the Body override a Presidential veto, the legislation shall be enacted and forwarded to the SGA Administrative Advisor for approval.

Article VII – Committees: Powers and Duties

Section 1- Constitutional Committees

a. The SGA shall have three (3) constitutional committees - the Finance Committee, Election Committee, and Legislative Committee.

1. The Finance Committee:

i. Consists of seven (7) members or 10% of the SGA body, whichever is greater.
ii. Shall be chaired by the SGA Treasurer.
iii. Shall form all budgets for the SGA and present to the SGA President for review and recommendations.

2. Student Government Operating Budget

i. The Treasurer shall present the budget to the Body for approval. Once approved, any deviation or reallocation shall be approved by
the Body.

2. Election Committee:

i. Shall be chaired by the outgoing President or, if not applicable, by a member of the committee, who shall be voted on by committee members.
ii. Shall facilitate and regulate all SGA elections, whether set elections or special elections in accordance with the CUSGA General Election Rules.

3. Legislative Committee:

i. Shall be chaired by the Vice-President or an appointed official by the President of SGA.
ii. Shall consist of seven (7) members and the Vice-President.
iii. All legislation must be presented to the Legislative Committee two weeks before being presented to the senate floor, and then receive a ruling of either “due pass,” “due fail,” or “postpone.”
iv. The Legislative Committee must present a copy of all legislation to the President of SGA and the Administrative Advisor a week prior to presentation to SGA Body.

4. Members of all constitutional committees shall receive a majority approval by the SGA.

Section 2 – Ad Hoc Committees

a. The President may initiate committees to review issues or concerns at the President's discretion.
b. Members will require majority approval of the Body.
c. Members of the Body may form ad hoc committees as designated by the accepted parliamentary procedures.

Article VIII – The Court

a. The Court shall hear and decide questions of SGA constitutional meaning initiated by any SGA member or student of Cameron University.
b. The Chief Justice presides over all meetings of the Court and votes on all cases heard by the Court.
c. Members in the court

1. The Court shall consist of no more than seven (7) Justices, to include a Chief Justice.
2. All Justices shall be appointed by the President of SGA, with approval of two-thirds of the senators voting.
3. All Justices must abide by all other policies and regulations enacted by the Senate and the University.

d. Chief Justice must have served on the Supreme Court for at least one academic year before serving as Chief Justice, unless Court Justices are not available.
e. No person may maintain dual membership in the SGA.
f. All members of the Court must be full-time students, maintain a 2.0 grade point average and be in good standing with the university.
g. Vacancies in the Court shall be filled by appointment by the President, subject to a vote of two-thirds of the Senate voting.
h. The Court shall exercise those powers duly delegated to it by the Senate.
i. Justices shall be removed from their positions by the President of SGA,
with approval of the body if they fail to meet attendance requirements set by the Court.
j. A Supreme Court Justice term can have no limit, so long as the Supreme Court Justice maintains the requirements outlined for the position.

Article IX – Impeachment

a. Impeachment charges against Senators or Officers are brought to the attention of the SGA by a petition signed by five (5) percent of the student body (derived from most recent Fall semester head count as reported to the State Regents of Higher Education) or by a signed motion of any five (5) SGA Members.
b. To initiate impeachment charges, a majority vote is required of the SGA.
c. The accused senator or officer has the right to protest and a defense.
d. After a full and fair hearing of charges and defense and a due deliberation by the SGA acting as jurors, and with the President of the SGA, 3/4 of the total membership of the SGA is needed to remove the incumbent.
e. The Chief Justice of the Court shall assume the chair during all impeachment proceeding involving the Senate or Executive Officers. The presiding officer shall retain the chair in all proceeding against the Court.

Article X – Amendments

Section 1

a. Proposed amendments to the Constitution may be brought before the SGA Body by any SGA member.

1. A proposed amendment to the Constitution will be placed on the agenda at the next regular meeting.
2. Approval by two-thirds of the SGA members present is required to place the proposed amendment on the ballot.

b. Proposed amendments may also be brought before the student body for approval by a signed petition of five percent (5%) of the student body.

Section 2

a. Proposed amendment shall be publicized at least two weeks prior to the voting date.

Section 3

a. Proposed amendments to the Constitution shall be approved by two-thirds of the total ballots cast by the student body.
b. Following approval by the student body, the amendment shall be presented to the administration for approval and will be incorporated in the Constitution upon their acceptance.

Article XI – Ratification

a. The Constitution becomes effective upon majority approval of the SGA Body voting, majority of the votes cast by the student body, and acceptance of the
administration by all necessary legal means.

Article XII – Discrimination

a. The CUSGA does not discriminate against any member of CUSGA or invited guests on the basis of sex, age, race, religion, handicaps, or national origin. The Cameron University Student Government Association does not discriminate against any member or guest for any reason in any of its policies, practices, or procedures. Categories covered under the amendment include the amendment include, but are not limited to, race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, economic status as a veteran.